Imported Silk Reeling Machine at Tsukiji in Tokyo

Utagawa Yoshitora Japanese

Not on view

Casper Müller, a Swiss expert based in Yokohama, was employed by the prestigious and financially successful Ono Silk Filature Company to build a modern silk reeling factory in Tokyo. Yoshitora’s complex triptych serves as a precious record of its activities.

The young female workers first empty baskets of cocoons into vats of steaming water, and then locate the thread ends from several cocoons in order to reel them onto a spinning frame.

Imported Silk Reeling Machine at Tsukiji in Tokyo, Utagawa Yoshitora (Japanese, active ca. 1850–80), Triptych of woodblock prints; ink and color on paper, Japan

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